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A DUI conviction not only can lead to incarceration, excessive fines, restitution and the loss of driving privileges, but it also can have a damaging effect on your career. It is a criminal charge, and employers do not look kindly on criminal behavior.

You may not have immediately thought about the risk to your livelihood. But now it has your attention. There are a few ways that a DUI conviction will hamper your career. Understand this and do your best to steer in another direction.

Termination and loss of professional license

Here are some of the ways in which a DUI conviction may hurt your professional career:

  • Expect to lose work hours: Why? You are going to have to meet with your attorney a few times, make a handful of court appearances and complete sentencing that may include jail time and hours of community involvement. All of these situations will require you to miss work. Just hope that you have an understanding employer.
  • Your employer may suspend or fire you: Some employers abide by a strict code of conduct. If an employee violates it, he or she will face the consequences. Termination from your job may be a consequence as your employer may have a policy that calls for terminating an employee who has a criminal conviction.
  • Prospective employers will discard your resume: Think they will not find out about your conviction? Think again. Employers often perform background checks to weed out job candidates. Your DUI conviction will raise alarm and likely cost you a job.
  • Your professional license is in jeopardy: Many professionals, including doctors, nurses, teachers, psychologists and real estate agents, require state licenses to perform their jobs. When governing boards find out about your conviction they may suspend or terminate your license, and you will not be able to work for a certain length of time.

Understand that a DUI conviction may hover over many facets of your life, and this includes your career.

A dilemma that you may overcome

Your professional reputation and career now are in question. It may take a long time to polish away the tarnish that comes from a DUI or any criminal conviction. If you find yourself facing this dilemma, make sure to retain a skilled criminal defense attorney who will work to the best of his or her abilities to get the charge reduced or dismissed.